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Kit Guyatt Films: President Johnson’s Visit, Balmain and The Phallic Forest

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Kit Guyatt Films: President Johnson’s Visit, Balmain and The Phallic Forest


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1. President Johnson’s Visit
A film by Kit Guyatt and Christopher Cordeaux.  A comment on U.S. President Lyndon Johnson’s 1966 Australian tour, while Australian and American troops fought in Vietnam.
1967 16mm B&W 3 min.

2. Balmain
"An enquiry, at once lyrical and tragic, into the reality of (the inner Sydney suburb of) Balmain in 1969 – an historic, beautiful and ideally located residential suburb threatened with partial extinction by lack of government planning and foresight, and by indifference to residents’ interests." Peter King, ‘The Australian’
1969 16mm B&W 26 min.

3. The Phallic Forest
The story is about Oliver and Julia, he in advertising, she an academic, living in a terrace house which they’re renovating, while at the same time their relationship is falling apart. He starts an affair with somebody else and she retreats further into a fantasy world whose sometimes bizarre images the film does its best to recreate. Sandra Hall, ‘The Bulletin’ November 7, 1971

“The face of Victoria Anoux has been used to sell a wide variety of products in countless TV commercials and she is well known to Sydney viewers for her role in the Made in Australia TV series. Her co-star in a new experimental feature film made in Sydney is Michael Laurence of The Godfathers. Michael’s fans are in for a surprise if the film is ever released: he appears with Victoria in a sizzling nude love scene." Veritas, ‘Sunday Mirror” October 31, 1971

"Kit Guyatt and I made a movie of The Phallic Forest which toured as a double bill with Phil Noyce’s twin-screen documentary Good Afternoon. The Phallic Forest had got a fair bit of attention, not only from the press. We announced in the blurb: “The title story was made into a short movie and its screening at the Melbourne Film Co-op caused raids and prosecution.” The female lead, Victoria Anoux, recalls in her memoir Losing Alexandria (published under her married name, Victoria Thompson) that Patrick White was particularly taken by the movie. She told me that when Patrick and Manoly were in New York, Patrick sent her a card of a Rousseau painting of a nude nestling in a lush forest. He wrote on the back that it reminded him of The Phallic Forest. Had Pat (Woolley) and I known, we would certainly have splashed that endorsement around." Michael Wilding, ‘Wild & Woolley: A Publishing Memoir’ Giramondo
2011 1970 B&W Originally 16mm 38 min.

1. President Johnson’s Visit
A film by Kit Guyatt and Christopher Cordeaux

2. Balmain
Director, producer: Kit Guyatt
Camera: Jon Rhodes
Editing: Stephen Wallace, Kit Guyatt
Narration: John Power

3.The Phallic Forest:

Director, editor: Kit Guyatt
Screenplay: Kit Guyatt and Michael Wilding, from the short story by Michael Wilding
Camera : David Sanderson, Jon Rhodes
Sound: Vincent O’Donnell, Andrew Stewart
Music: John Sangster
Musicians: Dave Donovan, guitar, Warren Daly, drums, Darcy Wright, bass, John Sangster, organ, Angela Giblin, vocals
Cast: Judith Fisher, Michael Laurence, Victoria Anoux, Martyn Sanderson, Charles Little, Tony Ingersent, Candy Raymond, Alexandra Hymes, Lisa Ostrick, Vern Todd, Nigel Roberts, Robert Adamson, Ken Quinell

"Seldom has any tale so patronized its subject ; D.H. Lawrence and Fellini barely compete. This work is likely to be studied in discussion groups in 30 years’ time – not, unhappily, for its place in Australian film making but as a locus classicus of the quaint, benighted assumptions about female psychology (indeed, about psychology) held by the most articulate young MCPs in their day. Sylvia Lawson" -  The Australian, May 25, 1972

" (THE PHALLIC FOREST) proved to be one of the hits of the year (1972). With his usual hyperbole, Bob Ellis considered it 'among the first rank of this country's cinematic output' " - Albie Thoms, "My Generation", Media21 Publishing, 2012

" PRESIDENT JOHNSON'S VISIT (VIETNAM REPORT) had been made clandestinely at the Commonwealth Film Unit ... and was screened anonymously since the filmmakers were Federal Government employees and feared prosecution under the Crimes Act" - Albie Thoms, "My Generation", Media21 Publishing, 2012

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